I’m teaching a workshop for Brooklyn Poets: The Blueprint: Building Manuscripts that Survive the Slush Pile.
Sept. 29 – Oct. 27. Signup or spread the word.
Description: This workshop will focus on the fundamentals and strategies behind preparing short manuscripts for submission to literary journals, writing contests and graduate writing programs. It will be part workshop of student manuscripts (10-12 pages), part survey of the American literary marketplace. Students will read work by published poets, analyze literary journals and discuss the DOs and DON’Ts of the submission process, learning how to identify which journals and magazines will be most receptive to their own particular styles and voices. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to help students put together a manuscript that’s ready for submission.
Videos of me reading poems back in February for Derangement of the Senses. Be sure to check out Leslie Goshko and Miracle Jones while you’re there, and don’t miss Leigh Stein covering “Walkin’ After Midnight.”
Outside my neighborhood subway stop yesterday, two guys stood shouting at each other in what I hoped would turn into a street brawl. The smaller guy was pretty vocal, kept shouting, “You gonna die right here, homie! You don’t wanna kill yourself! Touching me is suicide, playa!” (Some of his shit even rhymed.) The bigger guy mostly stood there. He occasionally inched closer while coolly smoking a cigarette and hissing, “Step on. What? Step on.” (Not a good fighting stance, the James Dean impression.) The little guy wore ragged Timberlands and cargo pants and had one of those hand-held fans—all ornament and delicate folds—that would fly open as he moved around, flashing the black and maroon pattern of an old saloon dress. Not a switchblade, a fan.
Nothing happened. No punches or broken jaws. Only the b-grade pantomime of Hollywood fight scenes they’d seen as kids. They rope-a-doped themselves into a stalemate while I stood there loving how everything in New York is wrapped in grandiose theatrics and verbal swordplay. There is gesture and mimicry, and then there is the poetics of direct movement, of contact. One is pretty and the other effective. Back home, the roughnecks and hired-hands wouldn’t have danced around in heated pirouettes or had time to pull dialogue out of the air. There’d only be muscles and bone and the sound of someone’s face caving in.